Botswana Premier League (BPL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thabo Ntshinogang says their visit to the La Liga Nacional de Futbol Professional in Spain is a capacity building mission rather than a benchmarking exercise.
The BPL CEO, along with his Botswana Football Association (BFA) counterpart, Mfolo Mfolo, and some BPL Board Members left for Spain this past Friday for an introductory meeting with their La Liga counterparts in Madrid.
The high profile delegation, which includes, among others the newly elected BPL Chairman Jagdish Shah, is in Madrid at the invitation of La Liga.
Speaking in an interview, Ntshinogang said the trip is part of the fulfilment of the agreement between the BPL and La Liga ahead of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties to collaborate in promoting ‘the development of professional football in Botswana.’
“This is collaboration between the BPL and La Liga. We are not going there to benchmark but to learn from them and see how they run their league. They want to capacitate us to change our league into a professional league,” Ntshinogang explained.
The BPL CEO said in this first trip to Spain, the BPL delegation will ‘meet the directors of the different areas of LaLiga, including: commercial, marketing, innovation, finance, and administration, among others,’ just to appreciate how they run their league.
To ensure that the BPL is capacitated to implement what they would have learnt from their Spanish sojourn with La Liga, Ntshinogang said La Liga will then send its own delegation to Botswana to conduct a workshop for the BPL.
“After our introductory trip to La Liga, we will then, in conjunction with La Liga, organize a two day workshop here in Botswana which will be attended by all BPL team representatives,” he explained.
Ntshinogang said the workshop, which will be conducted by experts from La Liga, will focus on areas such as leadership, corporate governance and management, football marketing, finance, security and integrity as well as football academies.
“All the BPL clubs shall attend this workshop in order to tap in some knowledge from La Liga in all the said areas,” he added.
The BPL CEO said once these have been done, he, along with Mfolo, will be expected in Madrid once again to undergo a training session ‘on the management and operation of La Liga to be implemented similarly in Botswana.’
“Aside from the administration side, La Liga also undertakes to help us build our club football through coaches’ workshops. As part of the MoU, they will send to Botswana a two coaches’ delegation to undertake a three days coaches’ workshop,” he explained.
“This workshop will be for citizen coaches (Batswana) of the BPL clubs. During this workshop, the local coaches will be assessed and one coach selected as the best among them will then be taken to Spain for a two week training course on training methods of La Liga clubs,” continued Ntshinogang.
Away from the BPL, the BPL CEO said the collaboration will also extend towards grassroots development of football as well as women football.
“Where clubs show interest, the BPL will have an option to sign agreements with La Liga to develop football academies. This however is dependent on us signing with them a separate collaboration MoU with its own terms and conditions,” he added.
“They are also undertaking to provide guidance and assistance in developing women football,” the BPL CEO explained.
“As you can see, this is not benchmarking. It is a collaboration aimed at developing football in Botswana,” he concluded.